Betting the NBA Play-In Games: Miami vs. Philadelphia

The NBA play-in games continue with the Eastern Conference in the spotlight tonight. Bet the EDGE dove into the tilt in Philly.

Miami Heat (+180) @ Philadelphia 76ers (-218)

Spread: 76ers -5.5 | O/U: 208

Drew Dinsick (@whale_capper) has not bet this game yet. If he does get involved preflop he is leaning towards taking the points with the Heat but is more inclined to get involved as the game progresses.

“It's definitely clear that Joel Embiid is going to be a matchup problem for these guys. And I think ultimately, it's going to be a really competitive game…I am inclined to see how things break in the first and second quarters, in particular. I would like to see what the second unit for the Heat looks like, because in the times when they did not have Kevin Love available to lead the charge with that second unit, they were quite, quite bad in the second half of the season…I think this is going to be a pretty fun one to play live.”

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Dinsick went on to talk about just how different and more interested and more competitive the Heat traditionally become once the postseason begins.

Jay Croucher (@croucherJD) agreed whole-heartedly.

“The Heat are a very difficult team to price, because you have to bake in the idea that Jimmy Butler just turns into a new player in the postseason…he just takes more shots and just plays more aggressive after he kind of coasts through the regular season to a certain extent. I think its kind of a big deal, Kevin Love’s health status…if it's just a contusion he should be right, but that is something to monitor as well, because he's quietly become an important part of the team…Jimmy is so good in the playoffs that I currently can't write them off (but) I would be stunned if the Heat made another run.”

The dive into this game concluded that Philadelphia has the stronger starting five but Miami has the better bench assuming Kevin Love is available for probably 18-20 minutes. The Heat can prevail if they can keep it close midway through the fourth quarter when Jimmy Butler puts on his cape and takes over.

Croucher, however, likes the Sixers to prevail and face the Knicks in the Opening Round with the Heat hooking up with Boston in a rematch of the Eat Finals from a year ago.

“I just worry that this team now…I just don't really know what they're really good at outside of having Jimmy Butler on the team and having solid players. I just I don't really see the same level of upside (as even last season).”

Dinsick and Croucher agree Philadelphia is an intriguing team assuming they knock off Miami. They also agree that the intrigue is all based on Embiid's health.

Let the sweat begin in the Eastern Conference.